Slate has an interesting, if somewhat overly dramatic, take on recent psychology studies about Ego Depletion:
But that story is about to change. A paper now in press, and due to publish next month in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, describes a massive effort to reproduce the main effect that underlies this work. Comprising more than 2,000 subjects tested at two-dozen different labs on several continents, the study found exactly nothing. A zero-effect for ego depletion: No sign that the human will works as it’s been described, or that these hundreds of studies amount to very much at all.
It’s a good read with a lot of quotes and interesting counter points. I’ve never really liked the idea of ego depletion but I only know enough to sound uninformed. I’ve heard (and read) plenty of anecdotes from places like the You Are Not So Smart podcast but usually they end with a couple of unsatisfying open questions. Why would there be evolutionary pressure to evolve this way? Why would the brain ever not have enough glucose to function normally?
It’s good to see science is still working though.